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Free Press wins international award for use of augmented reality

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 The Free Press has won an international news media award for its use of augmented reality.

The newspaper’s Blippar app took first place in the category of best new mobile service.

The International News Media Association presented the award at a gala of nearly 300 media executives in San Francisco Tuesday.

"This award recognizes the value we’ve added to our print product by directly linking it to a world of enhanced content that can be simply accessed via smartphone or tablet," Free Press editor Paul Samyn said.

The 84th Annual INMA World Congress saw the association present its 2014 awards marketing and sales campaigns across the media industry, including print, video, audio and digital platforms.

The Free Press was among 30 of the world’s best news media sales and marketing initiatives to be honoured.

Second and third-place finishes went to Russmedia Digital in Austria and the Jornal do Commercio in Brazil, respectively.

"Our win over papers from Austria and Brazil is no small achievement as it means we join the likes of the New York Times and South China Morning Post who are able to leave this prestigious event carrying award hardware," Samyn said.

The Free Press introduced the service last September to introduce the use of augmented digital reality for the newspaper and its readers.

"The winning entries this year clearly show that this isn’t your father’s newspaper or magazine anymore," said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA in a prepared statement. "The common theme was engagement on new platforms and developing a relationship with consumers across multiple platforms."

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Updated on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM CDT: Adds video

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